Many patients seek a change to the shape or volume of their chin (genioplasty) alone or in combination with other aesthetic enhancements such as rhinoplasty (“nose job” surgery or nose reshaping) or rhytidectomy (facelift or neck lift). In most cases, the desired procedure is chin augmentation (enlargement). Making the chin bigger or giving it more shape and definition can be achieved with soft tissue fillers, biocompatible implants, or by surgical manipulation of the mandible (lower jaw bone). This procedure can also fill in the depression between the chin and the lower cheek areas along the jaw line (sometime called the pre-jowl sulcus).
Dr. Ransom performs most chin augmentation using biocompatible implants, though soft tissue fillers may be adequate and are selected in some cases. He does not recommend mandible surgery (sliding genioplasty) except in extreme cases, because of the risk to the sensory and motor nerves of the chin and mouth and the possibility of damage to the tooth roots in the lower jaw. When patients are deciding whether to pursue chin implant surgery, it is sometimes helpful to “try out” an aesthetic change by electing temporary soft-tissue filler augmentation first. Dr. Ransom uses hyaluronic acid based fillers (Juvederm® or Perlane®) or calcium hydroxyapatite-based fillers (Radiesse®) for temporary chin enlargement and to fill the pre-jowl sulcus. Hyaluronic acid fillers last between 6 and 12 months, depending on the individual patient’s unique skin and muscle structure and metabolism.
Chin implants can be an excellent complement to rhinoplasty or facelift (rhytidectomy) and neck lift surgery. With subtle increases in the projection of the chin or the shape and contour of the chin and pre-jowl areas, significant improvements in the harmony between facial areas can be achieved. Dr. Ransom selects from the most up-to-date implant designs to provide a modern aesthetic for his patients, avoiding extreme changes or unnatural shapes. He uses only biocompatible Silastic (silicone-based) implants, which have the lowest rate of complications of all the available materials.
Who is a candidate?
Anyone who desires increased projection of the chin, a more defined jawline, or a better neck contour may be a candidate for chin implant. A chin implant may be placed as a stand-alone procedure, or combined with other aesthetic or reconstructive surgeries. In some cases, chin implants may be used to camouflage defects from previously healed trauma. The key to any facial implant surgery is identifying the most appropriate size and shape of the implant – to achieve the greatest aesthetic enhancement, while still looking natural. Dr. Ransom will work closely with you throughout this process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I like the shape of my face, but not my “weak chin” and jawline. Will a chin implant change the shape of my face? Or just my chin?
A: Dr. Ransom works closely with all of his patients to select the best implant type, size, and shape to meet their aesthetic goals. Most implants will not change the shape of the face – rather, they provide projection to the chin and lower jaw area. This is seen clearly in profile. In some cases, an implant may be selected to compensate for a bony deficiency in this area of the face (such as an extended chin implant). Depending on the exact implant selected, the patient’s frontal appearance may be altered. The degree of change, however, is dependent on the implant specifications – and Dr. Ransom makes sure that you understand which implant that you will have placed. More information about facial implants is available during your consultation.
Q: What happens to the implant over time?
A: Silicone-based implants are biologically inert – meaning they basically don’t cause any significant tissue changes and do not integrate with your body. Rather, the implant becomes fixed in place by a thin fibrous capsule, formed by your body after the implant is inserted. None of the implant material escapes into your body or bloodstream. This material is the safest and best option available.
Q: If I decide later that I no longer want the chin implant, can it be removed?
A: Yes, a chin implant can be removed. This is an uncommon but straightforward procedure that often can be performed with local anesthetic and conscious sedation. Cheek implants can also be modified or replaced, if a different shape or size is desired at a later date – though it is best to avoid multiple surgeries if at all possible. Please see the procedure page for chin implant revision for more information. Dr. Ransom can discuss the details of implant placement or removal, as well as different shapes, sizes, thicknesses, and contours during your consultation.
Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.